Where the Indian Ocean meets spectacular African wilderness in miles of sandy beaches you will find Durban. Breath-taking nature reserves, limitless opportunities for water sports and the culture of the Zulu people, not to mention the wonderful weather, make Durban an exciting destination for anyone, no matter what their interests are.
Beaches in Durban range from the busy sands of the “Golden Mile” lined by restaurants, clubs and arts and craft stalls to the serene beaches of Umhlanga. Surfing along the protected stretches or relaxing in the sun, you are sure to fall in love with this piece of South African coast.
Further inland the Durban Botanical Gardens, Valley of a Thousand Hills and Phezulu Safari Park showcase the magnificent nature and wildlife of the area. Tours of the Battlefields of Kwazulu-Natal province or townships such as Inanda are a fantastic way to learn of the rich history and culture of the Zulu people in a beautiful setting.
The modern city of Durban, a melting pot of cultures and architecture, is a contrast to its imposing surroundings. Busy during the day, the nightlife of Durban is no different. The sounds of numerous styles of music blend in the streets to produce Durban’s own rhythm. From dawn to dusk, fast paced to leisurely the atmosphere of Durban is vibrant and sure to enthral all visitors to this wonderful city.
Home to the densest population of Indians outside of Asia, Durban has been hugely influenced by Indian culture. In several suburbs people of Indian descent make up the majority of the population. Here the traditions of previous generations are still practiced by their South African contemporaries. However their influence has spread through Durban and South Africa, as evidenced by the architecture, food and markets of Durban. Temples and mosques for example are dotted throughout the city. Some such as Juma Masjid and Umgeni Road Temple Complex are particularly impressive in size or history.
To engage your senses in the sights, smells, sounds and sensations of this rich culture the Victoria Street Market is incomparable. The scent and colour of spices of all kinds fill the air as you browse stalls selling crafts and feel the weave of beautiful fabrics. If you fall in love with a particular spice you have never tried before, several of the stalls will ship to anywhere in the world.
A nearby fish market will also overwhelm your senses. Fish of all colours are lined in ice as sellers call to passers-by. Talking to stall owners you will learn about how the sale of certain products such as offal has changed through the years and their own experiences in the markets.
After bartering in the markets a Bunny Chow will help revive you. A flavourful curry in a hollowed out bread load, this Durban delicacy should not be missed. Once you have come to appreciate the multicultural nature of Durban and the fantastic richness the Indian influences provide you will understand an important part of the city’s heritage.